If you want to holiday like a Bravolebrity this season, pick a buzzy destination that’s on the lips of in-the-know travelers all over the world. Whether your tastes veer toward relaxing beaches, cultural capitals, or stunning natural landscapes, you’ll find your next passport stamp among one of these five hot international travel destinations right now.
Make like the Real Housewives of New York City and head for Morocco this fall. If Countess LuAnn’s wild camel ride is still freaking you out, you’ll find plenty of other activities in one of the most varied countries in the North Africa region: Sip mint tea amid locals in a cafe, shop endlessly in the souks, relax in a hammam, or indulge in flavorful tagines. Fez in particular is commanding major tourism buzz.
Political upheaval in the region hasn’t slowed Istanbul’s sizzling increase in popularity. The massive city of more than 14 million people (fun fact: it’s the only one in the world located on two continents!) continues to draw international masses… and a whole slate of hot new hotels. The uber-luxe St. Regis has opened a new property — its first in Turkey — in the chic Nişantaşı neighborhood, surrounded by boutiques and galleries. It’s also got only the second Bentley suite in the world, inspired by the Continental GT model, and the first international outpost of Wolfgang Puck’s Spago. (The celeb-fave L.A. location is regularly attended by the likes of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles’ Josh Altman and a host of Housewives.) The tony members club Soho House also debuted an Istanbul property this year — housed in a 19th century palazzo.
Needless to say, all eyes are on the future of Cuba tourism, now that Americans wishing to visit will face fewer restrictions. (But it doesn’t hurt for cachet that the island still carries its air of forbidden temptation.) Go soon enough to see vintage cars and a vibe that feels stuck in time, and enjoy the cool insider-y feeling of dining or drinking in restaurants and bars set up in private homes. Plus, of course, there are those unspoiled Caribbean beaches!
If you're deep into Narcos, you may not be dreaming of a trip to Colombia at the moment. But the country is far from the manic drug cartel-controlled days of decades past — and you can still sneak in just under the radar before everyone else knows too. A new Intercontinental has just opened in the gorgeous colonial city of Caratgena, where you can shop for some of the world’s finest emeralds. Offshore islands make for a great day trip. Elsewhere, Four Seasons has a brand new property weeks away from opening in Bogota: The Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogota will put its luxe stamp on a historic landmark building.
Travelers in the know have already been flocking to northern Chile’s Atacama Desert for insane stargazing opps. The six-year-old Alto Atacama is a plush resort offering 32 rooms resort right at the edge of the Salt Mountains for major visual drama plus minimalist luxury. Or head south instead — way south — and find the striking glacial landscapes of Patagonia. Bonus: The hefty reciprocity fee is no longer required for American tourists to enter the country.
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